Posted by: Jacqui Murray | August 1, 2016

August To Do List for USNA Applicants

usna to do list

Depending upon where you are in the process, you may have done some of the items on this list. Skip them. Be

happy you’re done. Move on to the next.

First Steps:

If you’re serious about attending the USNA or any other military academy, buy a few books (or check them out of the library) on the process. It’s worth the investment because if you pursue this dream, you will be investing much more of your time and money before you achieve your goal. Better to make sure this is the direction you want to go.

Here are two books to get you started:

From the perspective of a woman who was accepted and how she accomplished it. Down-to earth, personal, definitely not dry, and should give confidence to any teen, male or female, considering a military academy as their college of choice.

A general and useful overview of the USNA application and the academy in general

Seniors–through Summer Seminar? DodMETS

Get DodMETS done. Immediately. If you completed Summer Seminar and they gave you your candidate number, that means they’ll invite you to take the medical exam.If you’re healthy, don’t wait. Who knows what happens later.

Click here for background on DodMETS

Seniors–get the CFA done

You can take this as soon as you have a candidate number. For information on the Candidate Fitness Assessment, click here and then here. This were given during Summer Seminar. If you passed, you’re done. If you didn’t, you have until you submit your application to pass. Check out what’s required (crunches, shuttle run, mile run, etc.) and make sure you’re prepared. It’ll feel good in September to have that out of the way.

Seniors–if you have a Candidate Number

Set up a binder to keep all of your application material together. I recommend a two-inch binder so everything you do is in one spot. Make a tab for every activity, i.e., CFA, Congressional Interview, online Preliminary Application, etc. Can you do this digitally? Sure.

Make copies of every piece of paper you submit. Then, if (when) they disappear across the country in Annapolis, it won’t be a show stopper.

Seniors, request a Congressional Nomination Package

These are due in Fall, with interviews in November/December. Get one from your Congressperson and both Senators. Fill them out. Double check to see that everything is accurate. Mail the packages to the Senators. Often, they do all of their selections via mail–no personal interviews. For the Congressperson, hand carry it to them. When you drop it off, try to meet the aide responsible for this activity. Say hi, chat for a moment. S/he may remember you from the Academy Night, and will definitely remember you when you come in for the interview in November/December.

For more on the Congressional Nomination, check out these articles:

Seniors–get the preliminary application completed

That’s on USNA.edu. A preliminary application must be submitted to become an official candidate for next year’s entering class.  January is the deadline to complete preliminary application if you want to be included in next year’s application process.

Soph/Juniors–Prepare for CFA

For information on the Candidate Fitness Assessment, click here and then here. Check out what’s required (crunches, shuttle run, mile run, etc.) and make sure you’re prepared to pass Senior Year.

Soph/Juniors–Take SAT and ACT

If you’re over 1400, you’re doing great. If you’re not, take it as often as possible. There’s a trick to the test that you’ll figure out as you take it over and over. A lot of colleges offer a PSAT-type tests for free. Take advantage of those opportunities. That’ll keep costs down and provide feedback on what you should work on.

Soph/Frosh–Attend an Academy Night

These occur throughout the year, so keep your eyes open. They’re offered through the School District or your representative’s office. Check those websites to find out when you should go.

Check USNA Admissions Facebook page for regional forums.

Tour the Yard

Tour the Yard if you’re in Annapolis, according to the following schedule:

Leahy Hall Briefing Times

Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. & 2 p.m.

*- These days exclude Federal holidays

**Note: Admissions briefs are held in Leahy Hall, which is about a 10-15 minute walk from Gate 1.**

General Admissions Questions

Contact USNA Admissions using the address and phone number below:

Candidate Guidance Office
United States Naval Academy
117 Decatur Road
Annapolis, MD 21402-5018

Hone these critical skills

All USNA applicants and grads are leaders. If you’re not sure if you have enough of the leadership gene, check out these posts to see how to develop them:

Read Books

Check out the Marine Corps summer reading list. BTW, if you’ve read any of the books on this list and would be willing to contribute a book review of it, I’d be thrilled to include you. There are far too many books for me to cover so I need help!

Tour a warship

These tours are offered through your Blue and Gold officer or any number of other avenues. Find a tour. Take it. First and foremost, you want to be sure that a Naval Academy choice is right for you. Seeing how officers work on a Naval ship is a good idea.

Visit Colleges You Might Like to Attend

Determine which colleges serve you best. A word of advice: Have back-up schools to USNA. Even if you’re accepted, you want to know it’s the best choice for you, so investigate the competition. Make an informed decision.

Focus on your unique skill

With summer comes less academic work. A good time to get back in touch with whatever it is that sets you apart from others. Military academies like that side of you. They want to know you can do everything, not just academics and sports.

Be a leader

Wherever there’s an opportunity to be a leader, take it. The Military Academies want to see you as a proactive, can-do person, not a follower. Officers are the ones who make things happen and inspire the enlisted to do their best. Be that person.

Create your resume

List all of your activities, awards, community service. The best time to start this is as a freshman, but if you’re older than that, do it now. And keep it up to date throughout high school. It’ll remind you of all your accomplishments when you’re filling out applications and essays.

Here’s a sample (truncated to protect the applicant info), set up in Google Spreadsheet with a simple organization of columns and rows:

college app resumeContinue Community Service

Most colleges want to know you give back to your community; Military Academies are no exception. Do as much as you can. Give as much of your time and labor as you can afford. No, it doesn’t mean you do less in academics or sports. Figure out how to do it all. That’s the kind of person USNA, USAFA, USMA, and all military academies like.

Are you a Future USNA Midshipman?

Follow USNA or Bust on Twitter


Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is webmaster for six blogs, an adjunct professor on technology-in-education, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a tech columnist for TeachHUB, Editorial Review Board member for ISTE’s Journal for Computing Teachers, and freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Currently, she’s editing a thriller for her agent that should be out to publishers this winter.

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